Spring 2018 Course Descriptions

MLAS 500.001 – The Human Condition: Utopian Thought and Other Worlds

Instructor: Scott Branson
Mondays, 6pm – 8:30pm, Karpen Hall 245
3 graduate credit hours
CRN: 10805

Oscar Wilde wrote, “A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing. And when Humanity lands there, it looks out, and, seeing a better country, sets sail.” This course will chart a course through the utopias envisioned by science fiction novels over the last fifty years. We will examine the political role of science fiction is as a literary genre. We often look at science fiction or speculative fiction as a genre that allows us to envision other possible pasts, presents, and futures, with current trends tending toward darker futures, or dystopias. Does it also have the possibility of effecting change through artistic and imaginative means? We will read a selection of stories and novels from the history of science fiction along with theoretical, philosophical, and anthropological texts to understand science fiction as a genre that has provided a key outlet for dissent and resistance and a place where artistic and political imagination combine.

ECS 520.001 – Sustainable Cultures

Instructor: Keya Maitra
Tuesdays, 6pm – 8:30pm, Whitesides Hall 015.
3 graduate credit hours. 
CRN: 11276

Interdisciplinary seminar on the importance of diversity among the world’s cultures and the potential for homogenization resulting from the globalization of many human activities. Literature from a variety of authors concerning international environmental themes will be read and discussed throughout the course.

ENG 520.001 – A Creative Prose Workshop: Fiction and Creative Nonfiction

Instructor: Tommy Hays
Thursdays, 6pm – 8:30pm, Karpen Hall 033
3 graduate credit hours.
CRN: 10179

This class will provide structure, support and constructive criticism for students who are interested in writing fiction or creative nonfiction.  Students may have a project in mind or one they’re already at work on, but that is not required.  In fact, part of what students may accomplish is discovering and tapping into creative veins from which to write.  In that regard, we will do some in-class writing exercises.

Each student will submit short stories, novel excerpts or creative nonfiction during the semester, which I will respond to at length in writing, and which we as a class will discuss. Over time, as we will learn what to look for and how to read like a writer, the class will become a community of supportive and insightful critics.  I will also meet individually with students to discuss their writing.  And finally, we will read and discuss works by accomplished writers to heighten our awareness of craft so that we might avail ourselves of the many possible approaches to our own work.

ENG 520.002: Poetry Workshop

Instructor: Scott Branson
Wednesdays, 6pm – 8:30pm, Zageir Hall 236
3 graduate credit hours
CRN:11630

The main character of Huysmans’ Against Nature considers the prose poem “the concrete juice of literature, the essential oil of art.” The condensed form may communicate the whole emotional breadth of a novel in only a page or two, allowing the illuminated moment to echo in our minds. Though the prose poem liberates poetry from strict attention to meter, it also magnifies the choice of detail and language in short prose. The prose poem sometimes goes by other names: short shorts, flash fiction, microfiction. It may have narrative structure, or distill the effusion of a feeling, or act as a verbal collage. This course gives students the opportunity to write poems in prose and experiment with language and style. Though there will be directive exercises, students will have freedom to explore the style and content that they desire. We will read examples of prose poetry as well as essays on craft, but the focus of the course will be on the pieces that students write. Over the semester, students will develop a selection of poems that they have had the opportunity to revise and rework.

MLAS 540.001 – Utopian Thought and Other Worlds

Instructor: Scott Branson
Mondays, 6pm – 8:30pm, Karpen Hall 245
3 graduate credit hours
CRN: 11608

Oscar Wilde wrote, “A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing. And when Humanity lands there, it looks out, and, seeing a better country, sets sail.” This course will chart a course through the utopias envisioned by science fiction novels over the last fifty years. We will examine the political role of science fiction is as a literary genre. We often look at science fiction or speculative fiction as a genre that allows us to envision other possible pasts, presents, and futures, with current trends tending toward darker futures, or dystopias. Does it also have the possibility of effecting change through artistic and imaginative means? We will read a selection of stories and novels from the history of science fiction along with theoretical, philosophical, and anthropological texts to understand science fiction as a genre that has provided a key outlet for dissent and resistance and a place where artistic and political imagination combine.

CCS 560.001 –Communicating Science

Instructor: Soyna DiPalma
Wednesdays, 6pm – 8:30pm, Karpen Hall 033
3 graduate credit hours
CRN: 11275

Explores methods to bridge the gap between scientific findings and their understanding by the general public. Emphasis is placed on both theoretical and practical approaches to developing successful communication campaigns, including the use of focus groups to determine the best course of action.

MLAS 572.001 – Special Topic: Introduction to Grants and Proposal Writing

Instructor: Gerard Voos
Mondays, 6pm-7:40pm, Owen Hall 302A
2 graduate credit hours
CRN: 11486

Students will explore the grants world, from solicitation to award to post-award administration.  We will learn how to: identify appropriate funding sources, read a solicitation, and write a successful proposal.  Through hands-on skills practice and discussions, the class will develop project ideas and create letters of intent, needs statements, project descriptions, evaluation plans, and budgets.  Throughout the course, we will discuss the high level of competition that exists in the grants world, and the need to succinctly and explicitly present our ideas to grant funders.